25th anniversary of an incredible gift
I experienced deep, personal conversion through reading the Catechism of the Catholic Church from cover to cover. Seeing the whole of God’s plan laid out in the Catechism helped me to understand how the Catholic Faith all fit together. And one overarching theme stood out for me: union with God. Here is a brief summary of what I mean:
• God is a communion of persons in complete self-giving love.
• We are created for union with God.
• We lost union through the Original Sin of Adam and Eve.
• Jesus restored our union with the Blessed Trinity by establishing one Church and instituting the seven Sacraments.
• We are brought into this union through sanctifying grace, by which God dwells in our soul, giving us a share in His divine Life.
• Growing in union with God in this life prepares us for perfect union with Him in Heaven.
It is so incredible to know the Creator of the entire universe desires to be united with me; with each one of us!
Understanding God’s desire for union helped me to realize better His Fatherly love. This led to a greater opening of my heart to receive that love and to respond to it by the way I lived. I wanted to learn what it meant to cooperate with His grace in order to break selfish habits, to think and act in a selfless way and to learn how to trust Jesus.
This experience led to an unexpected opportunity to develop a program to lead others to read the Catechism from cover to cover over a period of 38 weeks. What that looks like specifically is reflective reading, five nights a week, 15 paragraphs per night (roughly three pages), which takes about 10-15 minutes. Participants receive an email every two weeks. Using this doable pattern, each year there have been upwards of 100 people who have participated.
In closing, I would like to strongly encourage you to read the Catechism from start to finish.
Here are three convincing reasons to commit to this adventure:
1. Your understanding of the Faith will be richly enhanced!
2. Your relationship with Christ will deepen immensely!
3. You will have an ever-growing attitude of gratitude toward God for all that He has done for you!
It is a historic year: the 150th anniversary of our diocese and the 25th anniversary of the promulgation of the Catechism, which is a great time to explore your heritage! If you are interested in unlocking the treasure that reveals who God is, what He has done and continues to do for us and your personal dignity as a child of God, then consider reading the Catechism starting in September. Email your contact information to Ann at [email protected]
By Ann Lankford, Director of the Office for Catechesis and Evangelization
There is an image on the cover of the Catechism that was carefully chosen to let us know what is contained inside.
• The gold outline portrays a window looking inside to see Christ, the Good Shepherd, Who leads and protects His faithful (represented by the lamb).
• He teaches us by His authority (represented by the staff).
• Because of His love and compassion, He draws us by the melodious symphony of the truth (represented by the panpipes).
• He makes us lie down in the shade of the tree of life, His redeeming Cross which opens paradise.
This image captures the essence of Christ’s love for us and His desire to help us live as children of God.